SAITAMA, Japan, March 16 -- World best male figure skaters will be gathering at Saitama, Japan next week to challenge the reign of Yuzaru Hanyu in the World Championships, which will kick off on Monday.
Hanyu, the first man in over 50 years to win back-to-back Olympic figure skating gold medals, suffered an ankle injury last December and missed the Grand Prix Final as well as the Japanese National Championships, but he has been back to training this year. The two-time world champion also missed the 2018 World Championships while American Nathan Chen crowned the title.
Chan and Hanyu have not met each other since last year's Winter Games, and this time Chen is eager to prove himself as the best figure skater in the world even with Hanyu's presence.
China's Jin Boyang, two-time world bronze medallist, is also competitive. He took a silver in the Four Continents Championships in February.
"I don't care competing in Hanyu's home country," said the 21-year-old Jin. "I will try my best in the two programs."
Jin had been struggling for form earlier the season, but managed to bounce back. "I wasted the first two Grand Prix stops, but my form came better and better recently. I am focusing on my jumps this two weeks," Jin said.
Jin will also meet his old rival, Japan's Shoma Uno at the Worlds. Uno, runner-up at the Pyeongchang Games and has spent his career in the shadow of Hanyu, grabbed Grand Prix silver for the second year in a row and took gold at the Four Continents in February with a record-breaking free skate score under new rules in effect this season.
The men's short program will start on Thursday.
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